Intercept Pharmaceuticals

The shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT) are trading higher today due to the report that the company is exploring a potential sale.

The stock price of the biopharmaceutical company surged more than 27% to $120.17 per share at the time of this writing around 2:03 in the afternoon in New York. The stock climbed as much as $128.75 per share earlier today.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals received takeover interests

Intercept Pharmaceuticals is contemplating on selling itself after receiving takeover interests from companies, according to Reuters based on information from people familiar with the matter.

The sources indicated that the biopharmaceutical company has been working with investment bankers to explore a potential sale. The people also stated that it is uncertain whether Intercept Pharmaceuticals would decide to pursue any transaction.

Reuters did not disclose the identity of its sources, who requested anonymity because the sale process is confidential.

Recent merger speculations

A few days ago, there were speculations about a potential merger between Intercept Pharmaceuticals and Shire Plc (NASDAQ: SHPG) (LON: SHP). However, some market observers noted that the British pharmaceutical company recently agreed to acquire Baxalta (NYSE: BXLT) for $32 billion in cash and stock.

Another rumor suggested that the biopharmaceutical company engaged the services of CenterView Partners to help explore a potential merger deal. Centerview Partners was involved in the Dyax-Shire merger transaction and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG)’s acquisition of Receptos.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals is developing obeticholic acid, a treatment for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), a rare liver disease that primarily results from autoimmune destruction of the bile ducts that transport bile acids out of the liver, resulting in cholestasis.

In December, Intercept Pharmaceuticals submitted additional clinical data analysis for obeticholic acid to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The biopharmaceutical company is currently waiting for the agency’s approval. It is expected to $2.62 billion from the drug by 2022.